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An individual who cared for the deceased Salt Lake County man infected with Zika virus has become the eighth Utahn diagnosed with it.
Health officials said Monday they are not releasing any details about this individual who has since recovered but noted this person had not traveled to a Zika-infected area recently or had sex with anyone who has traveled to such an area or already is infected.
"This case ... is unusual," said Gary Edwards, the county Health Department's executive director. "At this point, we don't know if the contact between the new case and the deceased patient played any role in the transmission of the disease."
All seven other cases in Utah have been travel-associated.
Experts reiterated at a Monday news conference that there is no evidence that the mosquito species known to spread Zika are in Utah.
"We do not believe that there is risk of Zika transmission among the general public in Utah based on what we know so far," Edwards said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a team in Utah helping the state investigate how this individual contracted the virus.
Public health investigators are interviewing and collecting samples for testing from the individual and other "family contacts" to determine what kind of contact they had with the Salt Lake County man who died last month.
Health officials said Zika contributed to the man's death, but that he also had an underlying medical condition and was elderly. The exact cause of his death is unknown. He was the first confirmed Zika-related death in the continental U.S. and health officials say he had an unusually high levels of the virus in his blood.
Erin Staples, a CDC medical epidemiologist, said they are assisting with the trapping and testing of mosquitoes around the households where the man and the new case lived.
Additionally, Staples said, investigators are determining what contact, if any, health care workers might have had with the deceased patient.
Cases of Zika are usually mild and rarely result in death. The most common symptoms of the virus are rash, joint pain, fever and red eyes. Some individuals with Zika never exhibit symptoms, according to the CDC.
Sexual activity can transmit the virus. If a woman is pregnant or trying to get pregnant, she should not have unprotected sex with a man who has been to an area where the virus is spreading. The virus can cause birth defects in children whose mothers were infected during pregnancy, according to the CDC.
There currently is no vaccine or medication to cure Zika.
As of Wednesday, no locally acquired mosquito-borne cases have been reported in U.S. states, but there have been 1,305 travel-associated cases reported, the CDC states.